There was a time when the United States imported most of its oil, but things changed when President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Before then, the United States was producing about 5.1 million barrels a day. By April of 2009, that number had risen to about 8.9 billion barrels a day, which was an increase of 74%. By 2014, for the first time in history, the United States was producing more oil than it was importing. Production has decreased significantly since then, but in 2019, the numbers began rising again.


An Increase in Production

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the United States has reported that oil production increased in 2019. At the time, crude oil exports from the United States were at 2.98 million barrels per day. When compared with 2018 numbers, this was an increase of 930,000 barrels per day. This was due to the increased production of low-sulfur crude oil. This is the kind of crude oil that is in high demand globally because of its lightness. One reason for the increase in production is the expansion of domestic infrastructure. Worldwide targets for crude oil exports from the United States increased from 41 to 44 in 2019.


Countries Receiving U.S. Crude Exports

At one time, China was the third-largest recipient of crude oil imports from the United States, but it fell to seventh place in 2019. China’s government decided that trade negotiations were no longer in their favor, which led to decreased crude oil imports from the United States in 2018. Canada is the recipient of the largest portion of U.S. crude oil at 15.4 percent of the total number of barrels per day. South Korea is the second-largest recipient, at 14.3 percent, followed by the Netherlands at 9.4 percent.

In December of 2019, President Donald Trump announced that China had agreed to a deal with the United States. The deal involves China importing more U.S. crude oil, along with agricultural products, mass-produced products and more. Whatever happens with China and other countries that import U.S. crude oil, the increased production and exporting of U.S. crude oil is projected to continue. The American Petroleum Institute has welcomed this progress but encouraged both sides to consider lifting all trade tariffs.